No. 27 UMO Baseball Battles Down East Wood Ducks In Exhibition Contest

No. 27 UMO Baseball Battles Down East Wood Ducks In Exhibition Contest

After a seven-year wait baseball between Mount Olive and Kinston returned April 2, 2018, as the Trojans took on the Texas Rangers High Class-A Affiliate the Down East Wood Ducks at Grainger Stadium. UMO fell 4-1 but the Trojans were happy to play baseball as last year's game was unable to begin as rain prevented the start of play.

Mount Olive struck first as Nate Estes drew a walk with one away to give UMO a baserunner. Estes then stole second and an errant throw from the Wood Duck catcher sailed into the outfield allowed the Trojan right fielder to advance to third. As the ball rolled into centerfield the centerfielder overran the ball and Estes was able to quickly get up and run home to score the first run of the game and the first run between the two teams since 2011.

A bright spot for the Trojans was Reed Parris, a Kinston native, pitching in front of his hometown. The freshman came in the sixth and struck out Blaine Prescott and Leody Tavaras and did not give up a run.

UMO was held without a hit until Carson McCurdy came up with a pinch-hit single up the middle on a 2-2 count with one away in the top of the seventh with the Wood Ducks leading 4-1.

The score remained the same as Mount Olive could not complete a comeback in Kinston.

"It was really nice being here it is a beautiful ballpark and it was great to see my old buddy Steve Mintz (Down East pitching coach) who pitched for us in 1989-90. Some of our guys really stepped up tonight I thought. We didn't throw our normal pitchers but I thought they did well overall. We were just overmatched on the hill tonight. We have been playing these guys for years (since mid-1990's) and I've never seen a staff like they ran out there. It was fun, I think the kids enjoyed it and regardless of the outcome, we were pretty respectable, to be honest with you. It was a great night to play baseball until it got cold in the third inning, but it was a great evening, great ballpark, just a thrill to everybody no question," said Head Coach Carl Lancaster.

Mount Olive returns to regular season action with a three-game Conference Carolinas series against No. 9 North Greenville in Tigerville, S.C. Friday.

A full photo gallery of the game can be found here.